Viking family: Jens Lundsbye with wife Kimberly and sons Karl, 8, Kirt, 4, and Erik, 1 showed up to take part in the Birchleg event last Saturday.

Viking warriors amass for Birchleg event

This year’s event saw close to 60 skiers

By K.A. Pendergast

Last Saturday saw the 21st annual Birchleg ski event. The Wells Gray Outdoors Club that has been in operation for 35 years, put on the event up at the Candle Creek Cross country ski trails.

This day is held because of a legend commemorating two Viking warriors who were said to have skied 55kms in the middle of winter over mountains to protect and bring the Norwegian King’s heir to safety. The plan of the day calls for modern “warriors” to come and ski or snowshoe as many of the 28kms of our trails that they wish.

They begin the journey mostly like a race, but it is not mandatory depending on the trails you choose. The entry fee includes drinks and snacks for the trail and more hearty food when you return.

On hand were Search and Rescue as well as guides to show the way for newbies. There were vikings galore lined up and waiting for the start. One couple, when asked if this was their first race, said they had been to every one of them as far as they could remember.

That shows the rest of us just exactly how much fun this affair can be. There was even a family of warriors that attended all the way from 100-mile house. Three kids in that group ages 8, 4, and 1. They were pretty fierce looking.

The day saw approximately 60 skiers, a great turn out. Although the weather was nippy and cloudy it didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm noticeably. A shout out goes to the Wells Gray outdoors club and all of the members as well as volunteers that made this day a success. Be sure to put a mental note on your calendar for next year.


Viking Warriors line up at starting line for last weekend’s Birchleg event.

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